HomeIndian Defence#MASSIVE: DRDO hands over 2 TAPAS MALE UAV prototypes to Indian Navy...

#MASSIVE: DRDO hands over 2 TAPAS MALE UAV prototypes to Indian Navy for evaluation tests around Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Source : IgMp Bureau

#MASSIVE: DRDO hands over 2 TAPAS MALE UAV prototypes to Indian Navy for evaluation tests around Andaman & Nicobar Islands

The Indian Navy has stepped in to salvage the TAPAS MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) UAV program, seizing control of two prototypes for rigorous performance evaluation. This strategic move follows the Indian Army and Air Force distancing themselves due to technical deficiencies, primarily the UAV’s incapacity to attain a 30,000-foot altitude and sustain continuous operations for 24 hours.

A Naval Lifeline: TAPAS Enters Maritime Evaluation

Undeterred by past setbacks, the Navy is set to subject the TAPAS to intensive testing in maritime environments, focusing particularly on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Should the UAV meet the Navy’s expectations, it could mark a groundbreaking development, with the Navy potentially becoming the program’s inaugural customer, contemplating the procurement of a squadron comprising 12 units. This would be a significant shot in the arm for the TAPAS program, grappling with challenges in fulfilling initial requirements.

Navigating Challenges: Addressing Altitude and Endurance Hurdles

The Navy’s scrutiny, however, won’t be without hurdles. The Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), the program’s developer, must tackle altitude and endurance limitations head-on. This entails extensive testing of a new high-rated engine to enhance altitude performance and implementing measures for drag reduction, enabling extended cruise times above the 30,000 feet threshold.

Strategic Evaluation: Navy’s Cautious Stance on UAV Procurement

The Indian Navy’s decision to evaluate the TAPAS underscores its vigilant approach to UAV acquisitions. In a recent move, the Navy received Israeli Hermes-900 MALE UAVs named Drishti-10 Starliner, produced by Adani Elbit Advanced Systems India Limited in India under technology transfer through the Make in India initiative. These UAVs are currently undergoing performance assessments before any further procurement considerations are made.

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